NIXsolutions: SpaceX’s Starlink Cellular Service Faces FCC Scrutiny

SpaceX’s upcoming Direct to Cell cellular service, set to launch on Starlink satellites, has prompted the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to seek further clarification. The FCC demands detailed justification from SpaceX, ensuring the new service won’t disrupt other satellite and terrestrial operations.


FCC’s Inquiry and SpaceX’s Responses

In response to SpaceX’s request to use Starlink for radio signals to smartphones, the FCC recently presented additional queries during its review. SpaceX must address these inquiries by November 17, offering an analysis of potential interference with other operators and services. The FCC emphasizes considering worst-case scenarios and potential disruptions to authorized satellite and terrestrial services.

Coverage Mapping and Industry Concerns

The FCC mandates SpaceX to furnish a “predicted beam coverage map” for the U.S., illustrating maximum and typical satellite cellular power levels, notes NIXsolutions. Additionally, SpaceX must outline procedures for shutting down the Starlink cellular system in regions already covered by terrestrial networks. Concerns from other American satellite operators about potential interference have been raised, with Omnispace expressing apprehension about SpaceX’s impact on its S-band satellites.